Breeding Dummy Design

We’re about to begin the equine breeding season again!  A lot of you are looking at new equipment and supplies to assist in your efforts.  At the Equine Breeding Blog we are always scouring the web for industry trends, products, and information that we find interesting.  Back in 2014, Dr. McDonnell published a fantastic piece in response to a reader’s email in The Horse on the importance of Breeding Dummy Design as it relates to your semen collection operation.  We’ve included a few key points from her piece below, and encourage you to check out the complete article here.

Breeding Dummy Design – The Horse (April 2014)

Q – “We have a Quarter Horse stallion that we will be starting in a shipped semen program this year.  We are in the planning stages for our breeding room and trying to make decisions on a dummy mount.  We would appreciate any recommendations on how big we should make the dummy for this stallion.”

A – “For fit of a breeding dummy, consider:

  • The dummy’s barrel length from shoulder to tail;
  • The dummy’s height at the tail; and
  • The girth of the barrel, or barrel diameter.

For almost all stallions, a barrel length (from front to tail) of 60 inches is ample. It doesn’t hurt for it to be longer, but it is not needed.

Concerning girth, for Quarter Horse stallions, a barrel diameter of 20 inches almost always works. A good starting height for a stallion of 15.2 hands would be about 55-58 inches from the floor to the top of the barrel at the tail for a level dummy, and an inch or so lower if the dummy body is angled.

Another big design question is whether to buy or build a dummy with one fixed height or to go for an adjustable-height dummy.  One of the most important features of a dummy is sturdy, solid construction.”

Great input, Dr. McDonnell!  We agree that quality construction and proper training for the stallion are two key elements of a successful collection.

Breeder’s Choice ( offers a number of great breeding

Phantom Rear_Hips

Single Leg Hydraulic Phantom by Breeder’s Choice

dummy options, including a two leg hand-adjustable phantom design as well as a single leg hydraulic phantom, both at very affordable price points.  Introduced in 2013, the single leg hydraulic phantom is self contained, meaning all the components are inside the body of the phantom, requiring only a single hole in the ground for mounting.  Most importantly, the phantom body can be raised and lowered to accommodate any size stallion, all at the push of a button.  You can read more on Breeder’s Choice’s breeding dummy products here.




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